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Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reaganby Jeff Greenfield
Synopses & Reviews
From one of the countrys most brilliant political commentators, the bestselling author of Then Everything Changed, an extraordinary, thought-provoking look at Kennedys presidency—after November 22, 1963.
November 22, 1963: JFK does not die. What would happen to his life, his presidency, his country, his world?
In Then Everything Changed, Jeff Greenfield created an utterly compelling” (Joe Klein), riveting” (The New York Times), eye-opening” (Peggy Noonan), captivating” (Doris Kearns Goodwin) exploration of three modern alternate histories, with the kind of political insight and imagination only he possesses” (David Gregory). Based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting, and his own knowledge of the players, the book looked at the tiny hinges of history—and the extraordinary changes that would have resulted if they had gone another way.
Now he presents his most compelling narrative of all about the historical event that has riveted us for fifty years. What if Kennedy were not killed that fateful day? What would the 1964 campaign have looked like? Would changes have been made to the ticket? How would Kennedy, in his second term, have approached Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War? With Hoover as an enemy, would his indiscreet private life finally have become public? Would his health issues have become so severe as to literally cripple his presidency? And what small turns of fate in the days and years before Dallas might have kept him from ever reaching the White House in the first place?
As with Then Everything Changed, the answers Greenfield provides and the scenarios he develops are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. It is a tour de force of American political history.
You will never think about recent American history in the same way again.
These things are true:
A brilliant and brilliantly entertaining tour de force of American politics from one of journalism's most acclaimed commentators.
History turns on a dime. A missed meeting, a different choice of words, and the outcome changes dramatically. Nowhere is this truer than in the field where Jeff Greenfield has spent most of his working life, American politics, and in three dramatic narratives based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting with journalists and key participants, and Greenfield's own knowledge of the principal players, he shows just how extraordinary those changes would have been.
These things are true: In December 1960, a suicide bomber paused fatefully when he saw the young president-elect's wife and daughter come to the door to wave goodbye...In June 1968, RFK declared victory in California, and then instead of talking to people in another ballroom, as intended, was hustled off through the kitchen...In October 1976, President Gerald Ford made a critical gaffe in a debate against Jimmy Carter, turning the tide in an election that had been rapidly narrowing.
But what if it had gone the other way? The scenarios that Greenfield depicts are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. You will never think about recent American history in the same way again.
About the Author
Jeff Greenfield is a multiple Emmy Award-winning analyst and has been a commentator for ABC, CNN, and CBS. He has worked as a columnist for Time magazine and as a writer for Harper's and the New York Times Magazine. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books. He worked in politics as a Senate aide, a speechwriter for such men as Senator Robert F. Kennedy and New York mayor John Lindsay, and a political strategist. Greenfield has observed and engaged in the last forty years of American politics more than most men, and he knows just how easily the history of those years could have been completely different.
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